Common breeding birds are better in the Netherlands than in Europe


On average, Dutch breeding birds increased even more during the period 1980-2010. Common species are superior to birds from other European countries. Farm birds are an exception. It has fallen sharply both in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe.

Dat blijkt uit onderzoek van de stichting Centrum voor Landbouw en Milieu (CLM) en het Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen van de Universiteit Leiden (CML), online open access gepubliceerd in het Britse tijdschrift Bird Study.

Scarcity has played an important role in Europe

The authors looked for factors that could explain the increase or decrease in birds plant In the Nederlands. They suggested that the type of habitat is the most important factor: for example, intensification of agriculture may explain the decline of agricultural land. bird..

But in 2015, a British study of European bird trends from 1980 to 2010 came to a startling conclusion. This was not the type of habitat, but the rarity of birds most closely associated with the development of bird populations. It is not uncommon. Wil Tamis of CML provides a possible explanation for this population growth. Rare species, He increased their number. “

All rare species in the Netherlands are doing better

Helias Udo de Haes from CML explains that he predicted different trends in the Netherlands. “In the Netherlands, I thought the opposite was true, but I couldn’t support either of the two hypotheses. In the Netherlands, the increase in the class of all rare species is good news for nature. In the Netherlands, the inhabitants. We have confirmed the hypothesis that the land is more important than its scarcity. “

Natural politics are rewarded

According to the researchers, the fact that habitat factors were not dominant in European studies was likely due to differences between European regions. Strengthening of agriculture has occurred in most regions, but not in others. Thus, on average, the impact of housing is not very important at European level.

In the Netherlands, mainly waterfowl, swamps and forest birds have improved considerably. The main causes are probably water, wetlands, expansion of forested areas, improved water quality and aging forests. In addition, dead trees often remain in the forest. Therefore, natural policy appears to be effective in these areas.

Big bird seeds are better

Based on impressions from the field, the author also expected large bird species to perform better than small birds. For example, the number of storks, herons, buzzards and geese is increasing. They found a difference, but did not find it statistically significant. “The explanation is probably that the British excluded geese from the study,” says Wouter van der Weijden of the Agricultural Environment Center. “To keep the comparison pure, we had to do the same, even though there were actually more Dutch geese. Overall, we conclude that the larger species are doing better than the smaller ones. I dare to tie it up. “

Decline in affected insects not yet visible

Finally, the authors also predicted that bird food choices would affect the rise and fall of different species. Researchers have been suspicious, for example, based on alarming reports of declining insects. However, in the Netherlands the group of insectivorous birds was no worse than the other groups. Significant reductions in insects may have been difficult to identify, as they did not occur until after 2000, the last decade of the study period. effect.

Regional and European analysis of targeted natural policies

According to Udo de Haes, the survey shows the importance of analyzing regional and European trends. “Various trends and factors are emerging. It is important to combine the two levels of scale for the natural policies in question, and it again appears that more attention needs to be paid to birds on agricultural land. Further research is needed. Species due to differences in trends in a wider range of habitats (cities, coasts, wilderness, dunes, etc.) and a wider range of species groups. It can be very beneficial. “

Bird mortality continues in Germany

For more information:
Helias A. Udo de Haes et al, Comparison of Dutch and European Breeding Bird Trends, Bird research (2021). DOI: 10.1080 / 00063657.22021.1939652

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Leiden University

Quote: Common breeding birds perform better in the Netherlands than in Europe (July 9, 2021). Obtained from on July 9, 2021.

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